Guest Blog written by: Ethan Pettigrew
When I went on the mission trip to Georgia this summer, I spent time with a lot of kids that had rough home lives. While there, we told the kids about how much God loved them. Something that I tried to convey to them through my testimony was that our personal salvation doesn’t have anything to do with our parent’s salvation. If your parents are Christians that doesn’t mean your automatically one too. This concept is described in today’s reading from Ezekiel.
Chapter 18 is all about our personal responsibilities for our own sins. The passage begins with a common proverb from the Israelites. It states, “The fathers eat sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge?” God told Ezekiel that this principle was to be used no longer. He said that everybody belongs to Him. God goes on to talk about a family. He starts with a righteous man. This man does not sin and is faithful to God. God says that this man will certainly live. Next God talks of that man’s son. This man is violent, sinful and does not fear the Lord. This man will not live according to the Lord. Finally God tells of the sinful man’s son. This man sees the wrong that his father did and decides to not partake in those actions. He is like his grandfather, righteous and faithful to God. God says that this man will certainly live as well.
There are two perspectives in which we can read this passage. They examine the two different father-son dynamics. I personally find the first set more applicable to myself. I have grown up in a Christian home with parents that are very involved in our church. These are great things but when comes down to whether or not I’ll go to heaven after I die they don’t matter. What does matter is whether or not I followed after Christ and lived for Him.
Then there is the other father-son pair. Even though this scenario doesn’t apply to me, it is still just as real and true. If somebody grew up in an atheist home or had parents that persecuted Christians, that doesn’t have anything to do with their salvation. Somebody raised in that environment could still become a Christian. God doesn’t care about whether one’s parents are saved because God wants every individual to have a relationship with Him. So when it comes to salvation, it doesn’t matter what background you come from. Because when the dust settles, all that matters is your personal salvation and that’s all that can get you into heaven.